Tag Archives: pumpkin

An Update

It’s race week!!!

On Saturday my dad and I will be running the Longview Half in Grandview, Mo and then in Sunday we’ll be tackling the Gobbler Grind Half in Overland Park, KS!!

I am completely and overwhelming underprepared…πŸ˜‚

For the past 6 weeks I was hardly able to do any running let alone any actual training. My new job was absolutely beating the hell out of me and I got to the point where I wasn’t healing or recovering at all. My body was bruised and beaten down and every week just seemed to add more fatigue on top of it all. I was really hoping that I would end up adjusting to it all, but things just got progressively worse and worse and never really improved.

Cuts, scrapes, and bruises that just never seemed to go away.

At this point my wrist and hands have been red, swollen, and painful for weeks now. My hands and wrists are small, delicate, and have always been the weakest point of my body. And having to rip apart cat litter boxes ever 15 minutes just completely did them in. They even got to the point that they would throb with every step that I take when I’m running.

Instead of adjusting to the work the fatigue just seemed to pile up week after week. I literally couldn’t function when I would get home from my 12 hour shifts and on my days off I could barely get anything done. I tried to keep up with running, but mostly I just ended up cutting every run super short. Oh and my hair started falling out in clumps, so that’s cool.

Plus all of the dust in that place was just killing my asthmatic lungs. Your cat litter might say that it’s “low dust” but I can assure you that it’s not… Oh and we can’t forget this gem!

I know I probably sound like a whiny, ungrateful bitch right now but this was my reality for the past 6 weeks.

But last night I broke down and I quit my job at the cat litter factory. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I feel like I had to do it for my own physical and mental well being.

Honestly I don’t like having to admit that o couldn’t handle it. I’m not proud of how badly this job beat me down. I really did want it to work out. It was the best paying job that o could ever get, being uneducated and unskilled as I am. But the reality is that I just couldn’t handle it.

Plus on top of all of the physical stuff the blatant sexism and…I’m not sure what to call the “compliments” were really starting to get to me. I think it’s a little obvious that it’s mostly men who work jobs like this so it was mostly men that I worked with. The amount of times I got called a “pretty girl” was irritating, but what really pissed me off we’re comments like “you can’t stand around and look pretty all day when you work here” and “you can’t be pretty AND run the line at the same time”. Those were real, actual things that were said to me! They were meant to be jokes, I guess, but they sure didn’t feel that way. Ugh.

And yesterday a woman who works there who kind of took me under her wing told me the best thing I could do was keep my head down, do my job, and be careful what I say and who I say it to because the men there really do treat women differently. I really do appreciate her looking out for me, but hearing that was just a huge bummer on top of everything else…

So there you have it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’m still looking for another job and hopefully I’ll end up working again soon, but at this point I’m just glad that I never have to step foot in that place again.

Anyway, back to race week stuff!!

So I’m hoping that I can get enough rest and recover enough that these half marathons don’t go too poorly. Although at this point I’ve accepted that they’re going to be very painful and we’re definitely going to be the party in the back for both half’s. Hahaha but at least my dad will be right there with me for them both, so I won’t be suffering alone! He’s been going through some shit as well and he hasn’t done any training either. πŸ˜‚ Oh well, we always have a lot of fun together, no matter what we’re doing. Like running a 10k in the mountains that I also was not prepared for. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Aaand to top it all off, I’m a little bit ill. Cool! πŸ™ƒ But I don’t feel as bad as I usually do when I’m sick so I’m hoping that continues to be the case! Or that I just start feeling better by this weekend! I’ve been chugging water with Nuun immunity tablets in it though and I like to think that’s helping! Even if it is just a placebo effect (which I don’t think it is. At least not entirely). My shitty immune system needs all of the help it can get, so hopefully between the Nuun, the no longer working at the cat litter factory, and all of the rest I plan on doing over the next few days help me get over this thing quickly!

Anyway, today I’ve been resting and relaxing and doing some light house work. Just trying to slowly catch up on all of the things that have fallen to the wayside over the past 6 weeks, ya dig? It was a good day, but my favorite part was not having to wake up at 4 am and getting to sleep in until 8, and then waking up to Finn laying on my feet and Dean cuddled up to my back. I think the dogs have missed me as much as I’ve missed spending time with them. They’re the best.

Alrighty, that’s all for today! But I can promise you I’ll be keeping this blog more up to date now that I’m not killing my self slowly by working at the Clorox plant anymore.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and has a fantastic November!!


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Happy first day of fall!!!!! πŸŽƒπŸ‚πŸ¦‡πŸ•ΈπŸπŸŒ™πŸ‘»

Who else is super freakin stoked that summer is FINALLY over and that fall is here?!?!? I know I sure am! Plus the weather has been super nice the last couple of days here in Kansas! It actually feels like fall and it’s fantastic! I sure hope this weather sticks around and that summer is gone for good this year. πŸ˜„

Anyway, since the weather has been cooler I’ve been all about oatmeal! Don’t get me wrong I love oatmeal all of the time, it’s just that sometimes when it’s hot out eating a bowl of oatmeal isn’t exactly satisfying. But it’s just so cozy and filling and perfect for when the weather starts getting colder! Or at least I think so. So I’ve been making my all time favorite oatmeal recipe! Which of course involves pumpkin because it’s fall and literally everything consumed in the fall should contain pumpkin, right? πŸŽƒπŸ˜‰

And why not? Pumpkin is full of all sorts of goodness; potassium, antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, and A, and fiber, among other things. So I say eat all of the pumpkin you want!! Well, maybe notΒ too much. Especially if you eat a lot of other foods that contain beta-carotene like carrots and other kinds of squash. A fun little side effect of consuming too much beta-carotene is that it can give your skin an orange-ish tint. When I was a baby I LOVED things like carrots and squash and I ended up turning orange! Luckily it’s just a temporary thing though, and once you start limiting the beta-carotene it will fade away.

Anyway, lets get to the recipe, shall we?

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Makes 1 Serving

335 calories if made with honey and unsweetened almond milk, but it will vary depending on the milk you use and if you use brown sugar instead of honey.


  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • about 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 2 tbs honey or 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • pumpkin spice to taste

Ignore my badly opened can of pumpkin haha. πŸ˜‰ So, I like unsweetened, vanilla almond milk, but you can use whatever kind of milk you like.


Add water and a pinch of salt to a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Once your water is boiling add your oats and pumpkin spice, reduce heat to medium and let the oats cook for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it though. I’ve found that the cook time can vary depending on the pot you use. A good rule of thumb is to let most of the water cook out and that usually takes around 10 minutes.

Once most of the water has cooked out of your oats add the milk, pumpkin, and honey or brown sugar. (I prefer honey, but every once in a while I’ll use brown sugar and it’s pretty good that way too. πŸ™‚ ). Mix together and let it cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes. Again, keep an eye on it, just in case! Nobody wants burnt oatmeal!

Enjoy immediately!


There you have it! The perfect bowl of oatmeal for the fall!

Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it! I’d love to hear how it turns out for you!!

I hope you have a fantastic fall!

Until next time,


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Rest Day, Pumpkin Bread, And Jack O Lanterns!

Never miss a Monday? Ha! Screw that!


My Garmin data is telling me that I need another rest day. But more importantly, my body is telling me that I shouldn’t run today. I’m just really tired and I feel like I might have a cold coming on. I’m hoping another day off and some more rest will make that feeling go away though. The last thing I need right now is a cold. My half marathon is in 19 days so we’re getting really really close and I don’t need any more obstacles to overcome at this point. Even one as small as a cold hahaha.

But anyways, I think the whole “never miss a Monday”, “no off day’s”, and things like that that you see all over the internet on “motivational” photos is a very unhealthy mindset to find yourself in. You be go go go all the time. You just can’t. You need to take days off from running and working out. You’re muscles need to rest, your body needs to recover, and you can’t do that if you’re always running, always going, and never taking the time to allow your body to rest. Rest is essential!! 

And I’m not just saying that to make myself feel better haha. I really truly believe that, and I really truly believe that a lot of people fall into the trap of “no days off” and I don’t think that typically ends well for most people.

So yeah, there’s my little soapbox speech for today. πŸ˜‰

Instead of running I did some baking this morning! I somehow made it to the end of October without really making anything pumpkin related. *Gasp* That’s absolutely insane haha. I mean, I’ve made some french toast with some pumpkin, but that hardly counts. πŸ˜‰ So I made some pumpkin bread today. I. LOVE. PUMPKIN BREAD!!! Ugh its sooooo good!! Probably not the best thing in the world for you…I did make a few healthier swaps with this loaf though. Instead of using sugar I used honey, and instead of vegetable or canola oil I used coconut oil, so at least there’s that! There’s still a shit ton of calories in a single slice hahaha. Totally worth it thought! At least I sure thing so.

So my bread ended up being pretty good! Not as good as it could have been though. I think maybe it could have used a bit more spice and a little more honey. Other than that it was still quite yummy! And maybe once I feel I’ve perfected the recipe I’ll share it here! πŸ˜‹

Anyways, after Luke came home we carved three of our pumpkins yay!! Hahaha of course I went with the usual jack o lantern face and I attempted a moon and stars. The moon looks fine but the stars are kinda weird. Oh well, it’s still neat. πŸ™‚ As I type this Luke’s still working on his first pumpkin. He’s trying to do the anti possession thing from Supernatural and so far it’s looking good, but he’s got a loooong way to go. Maybe I’ll get to post a picture of that one tomorrow but for now I need to clean up pumpkin guts. 😝

Happy Monday!!



Β Rest Day Ramblings

I had the worst run in the history of running yesterday…Ok, that may be a bit of an over exaggeration, but it was pretty awful. That is the worst part about having to take time off. Once you come back and start running again, it’s super tough!

Yesterday my legs were tired even though I’d only run a mile on Monday and then another mile on Tuesday (what the hell legs?! You’ve been half marathon training and after only a week off you can’t handle two miles on two different days!?!?!?).  So that was kinda frustrating. Plus my toe is still feeling a little weird so my brain kept telling my right foot to heal strike which royally fucked up my form, especially since I was still landing normally on my left foot. Ugh and don’t even get me started on my issues with a little up hill running (apparently I’ve just lost all of my cardio vascular fitness)…I know one bad run doesn’t really mean much and I haven’t lost all of my fitness, but jeez it can sure feel that way sometimes.

After much disappointment yesterday a rest day was very necessary. More so for my mind than anything, I think. I mean, physically I feel pretty good today, my legs even feel better today. But I thought it would be best to take a little breather and let my mind calm down a bit. So today I did a bunch of cleaning, reading, and a bit of gardening and yoga.

I had to pick my watermelon this morning. I was hoping it would be bigger, but it’s just not growing anymore. It is, however, perfectly ripe and super tasty! Plus it’s the first watermelon I’ve successfully grown, so I’ll take that as a win. Also, Lily definitely approves. πŸ˜„


In the afternoon I did a bit of yoga for my IT bands. All the limping I did last week made my left leg have to compensate while my toe was hurt. So now my left I band is kinda tight. Totally understandable, but since I had issues with this IT band last year I figure I need to make a conscious effort to keep it happy and healthy. What I really need to do is work on keeping my whole body strong and conditioned, but strength training is boring and I hate it. Haha that’s literally the worst excuse ever, but oh well. 😜

The rest of my afternoon was pretty boring, but my evening got much more exciting when I carved a pumpkin! I don’t care if it’s the middle of September and still 80 degrees outside. I’m ready for fall and spooky stuff!!  And pumpkin seeds are delicious and nutritious, so why not kill two birds with one stone and get pumpkin seeds and a jack o lantern? πŸ˜‰

Mmmm pumpkin seeds sooooo good when they’re roasting in the oven. Mine turned out super yummy. Now if only fall would hurry up and get here! Haha but I guess since I’m in this deep I might as well get my fall sented candles out. 

So I guess I’m gonna do just that and help Luke can some more tomatos. Happy Friday eve! 

~Ashley πŸ‚πŸƒπŸŽƒ